B.C. sets new daily case record as 2 more die of COVID-19
A health care worker is seen outside the Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver, B.C. Tuesday, March 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
VICTORIA -- British Columbia has added 203 cases of COVID-19 to its total over the last 24 hours, the first time the daily case count in the province has grown by more than 200.
The new cases bring the province over the 12,000-case mark overall, and come alongside two more deaths from the virus. The previous daily high for new cases was 179 on Sept. 18.
There are currently 1,766 active cases of the coronavirus in B.C., a number that has grown significantly since the start of the month.
Hospitalizations, seen as one of the best indicators of the severity of the pandemic, haven't been growing as rapidly as active cases or the overall total. As of Wednesday, 70 people are in hospital with the disease, including 21 who are in intensive care. Those numbers are similar to what they have been since the start of October.
Wednesday's numbers came in the form of a written update from provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and deputy health minister Stephen Brown.
In their joint statement, the health officials announced an outbreak at a school in Kelowna, the first outbreak to be declared in a B.C. school since classes resumed in early September.
Three people in the École de l’Anse-au-sable school community have tested positive for COVID-19, and 160 people affiliated with the school have been directed to self-isolate and monitor themselves for symptoms, Henry and Brown said.
The pair also announced three new outbreaks in health-care facilities: at Three Links Care Centre in Vancouver, Fort Langley Seniors Community in Langley and Baillie House in Maple Ridge.
Fraser Health said in a statement earlier on Wednesday that single staff members at Fort Langley Seniors Community and Baillie House facility had tested positive for COVID-19.
There are currently 20 ongoing outbreaks in health-care settings in B.C., including 18 in long-term care and assisted-living facilities. The other two are in acute-care facilities.
Since the pandemic began, 12,057 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in B.C., and there have been 256 deaths.
Many of the recent clusters of cases discovered in B.C. have been "directly connected to weddings, funerals and celebrations of life," Henry and Brown said in their statement.
“With COVID-19 still in our communities, we have seen that even small gatherings are risky right now," the health officials said. "Inside or outside, large space or small, the fewer the faces the better. A wedding is meant to be a time of celebration, yet weddings and other important life occasions are a significant source of community transmission; transmission that has spread to health-care facilities, workplaces and schools."
Health officials are currently monitoring 4,294 people because of exposures to known cases of COVID-19, Henry and Brown added.
Most of B.C.'s confirmed cases of the disease have been found in the Lower Mainland, with 6,517 recorded in the Fraser Health region and 4,215 in Vancouver Coastal Health.
Elsewhere in the province, there have been 632 confirmed cases in Interior Health, 361 in Northern Health and 244 in Island Health. There have also been 88 cases recorded in B.C. among people who reside outside Canada.